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tv   Nightline  ABC  August 20, 2009 11:35pm-12:05am EDT

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tonight on "nightline," the drug hunter. "nightline" takes you on a journey to the most dangerous place on earth with a war going on. the desperate battle to stop the drugs before they hit america's streets. plus into the wild. we travel with the world's oldest living reindeer world and the endangered people who depend on them for their existence. and canine sunscreen, doggie doughnuts. even aromatherapy for fido. why people who pamper their pooches are "a sign of the times". captions paid for by abc, inc.
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good evening. today was election day in afghanistan, no results yet, but the votes come as the american-led war there enters the eighth frustrating year. the white house says it's fighting a war on two fronts -- against the taliban and also against a network of drug growers and dealers who supply 90% of the world's heroin. heroin and other drugs were a major source of the funding for the taliban and other radical groups across the region. so this summer, armed with only a camera, karen rousseau journeyed to the front lines with the elite unit trying to make a difference there. >> it's about 4:15 in the morning in afghanistan's southern kandahar province. the clean touchdown.
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and quickly nine american agents are out of the helicopter. and across the dusty fields. >> all right, everybody take -- >> with them are 20 afghan police. >> putting out the broadcast, just hold what you've got. >> the team leader, frank tarentino turns to his interpreter. >> okay, this is a police action, put your weapons down. move across, let's go. in your elements, let's go. tell all the people right there to move out of there. [ speaking a foreign language ] >> they are hoping to seize evidence from the compound in which they have been tipped off is corrupt. >> all right, hey, up against the wall. >> this the dea, the american drug enforcement administration. >> all right. get in, get in. >> but when theyet inside the men have already fled.
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leaving tir weeping women and children behind. >> relax. relax. [ speaking a foreign language ] >> the tea they were drinking is still warm. >> look into the next place and then clear it and we'll come back and do -- >> roger. >> loaded. >> bring all weapons to this location over here. >> although the men fled, the mission was by no means a failure. the agents seized weapons and some of theweaponon > c c pututthat n. > le a rockcketet opeld eno brinon to the helilicoer. soso they y takearare of i it o locacation.. > 30 0 seconds. >> good job. > for nine years ththe dea h
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quietly toiled awayy here stopping drug ttraffickers. >> just giveve us about 10 or 1 minutes.s. > but now they're at ththe cr ofof the o obama adminisistrati plan to keke b bk afghanisisn. > make sure -- [ inaudibible. let's s go. >> this elite group p nicknamed the fast team has taken the drug-fighting expertisese here afghanistan. because this is where 90% of the world's heroin is produced. >> poppy seeds. doesn't look like my muffins back home. >> yeah, you smell it? >> all right. that's hash. >> money from the drug trade is believed to generate $125 million a year. >> oh, yeah. all this right here. oh, here's the sifters. >> and from the taliban and the
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growing insurgencies in pakistan and afghanistan and possibly al qaeda, tarentino leads his men on four deployments. their mission is to collect evidence and build legal cases against some of the most corrupt drug dealers. >> all right. >> often, targeting smaller dealers to build larger cases. >> handcuffs -- that's what i need. i need to talk to the women. you're under arrest. illegal possession of narcotics. >> this arrested man just told his distraught wife th he is only being taken away for questioning. but afghan laws are strict and he's likely going to jail for the next 15 years. >> it's never just about seizing and destroying the drugs. it is really more about taking
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down and dismantling the organizations. this operation will start to generate intelligence and information that will assist for follow-on operations. >> the fst thing to do is they're going to unload on full auto. >> much of the fast team's focus is in southern afghanistan. one of the most dangerous places on earth. so they train like soldiers. more than half of the fast team has military background. special agent alan plots interviews an agent here in kandahar. >> some information regarding the stalls in the bazaar. >> the drug dealing market, there's a lot of dope in there. >> i appreciate that you came in here risking your life. >> mm-hmm. >> tarentino is currently on his
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sixth deployment in afghanistan. but is often sent on other assignments around the globe. >> yeah, kids are awake. >> what's that, buddy? >> he tries to talk to his wife and three children once a week. >> i don't eat breakfast. >> operations begin early. >> somebody has got to clear that. >> yeah. >> it helps on the element of surprise and to avoid the 120-degree summer heat. like all missions, this one has been carefully coordinated. while it's never just about the drugs -- >> let's go! >> -- intelligence for this operation suggests there's a large amount on their targets. but when the team searches the compound -- >> ask them where the lab is. >> -- they find nothing.
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>> -- from the target location might be to the left. >> it smells like hash, but whatever drugs were here have clearly been moved. so the team, a bit frustrated -- >> go ahead and collapse back down to the main compound -- >> -- retus to the compound. when suddenly an american voice cries out to tarentino. >> is it hash? >> i don't know what it is. it's all prepackaged too. >> where is it? >> right here. it was hidden. >> oh, you are kidding me. >> 100 bags. maybe a hundred bags. >> awesome! all right. that's a big seizure there, my friends. >> we found a significant size of hash at our location. i want a sample of every single different bag. >> okay. >> then we'll just have to burn it and blow it. three tons. that's three tons of hash.
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>> all hidden in special packaging. >> look at this. ragu sauce. >> we're putting them out. hurry up now. >> hold on, now. >> the guys on my team are certainly not going to stop the narcotics flow, but we can continue to make cases and build investigations and conduct operations. >> for "nightline" this is karen russo in kandahar, afghanistan. >> the street value of the three tons of hash that the team recovered is somewhere around $10 million.
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that's $10 million not going to the terrorists. off thanks to -- our thanks to karen russos. and when we come back,phudov r relight on rphfo's rolives for survival. but not nearly as important as outer beauty. that's why i use covergirl's simply ageless makeup a department store brand can glob up in lines and wrinkles and actually make you look older. simply ageless stays suspended over lines and makes you look amazing. simply ageless from ol and easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl. ♪ , and try new simply ageless sculpting blush to bring out your cheekbones.
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day ♪ with mastercard's priceless picks app. chances are that most of what you know about reindeer is that the most famous ones have names like dasher, dancer, prancer and vixen and of course rudolph. though it seems that reindeer lose their magic for us around 9 or so. but there's a fantastical place where people live among the magnificent creatures. abc's clarissa ward found out things that even santa doesn't know in this installment of "nightline's" "into the wild". >> oh, my gosh, i'm going to die. okay. we're riding a reindeer.
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>> high in the mountains of northern mongolia, i'm having my very first reindeer riding lesson. yeah, it is very smooth. okay. whoa. she actually got me in my trachea right here. >> we have come here to learn about the dukha, a tiny tribe of nomadic reindeer herders who have been riding their deer for more than 3,000 years, and whose very existence now hangs in the balance. getting to the dukha's homeland is a long and arduous process. from the traffic-choked streets of mongolia's capital, it's an hour flight to the tiny city of murun. our guide is an american who first encountered the dukha more than ten years ago and who went on to create the totem people's project, an organization that works to empower and protect the nomadic reindeer herders. >> they just basically grabbed
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me by the lapels and said, you can't leave us. you're the only one who knows the challenges and we're facing extinction and we need help. >> from murun, it is two long days of intense off roading into the vast and wild landscape of the mongolia land. >> reindeer herders are very peaceful people and you should never raise your voice. >> stan gives us tips before meeting the dukha. >> and the reindeer are inquisitive animals. if you have to pee, they may llow you around because they like the salt in your urine. >> are you kidding me? >> no. that's the way it works in the taiga. >> before the final climb into the mountains a local shaman sprinkles milk around with us a special spoon. a traditional blessing to keep us safe. the last stage of the journey is the most gruelling. a ten-hour trek on horse back,
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crossing three mountains threw thick mud and dense forest. i'm a pretty experienced rider, but that is honestly unlike anything else i have ever experienced. the toughest ride and certainly the longest too. and then, the first glimpse, almost surreal. of the oldest domesticated reindeer in the world. >> high-five. go ahead. >> there are 52 dukha families living in small groups in tepees across an area of some six million acres. life here is simple and hard, but the people are resilient and proud. this is a revered dukha elder and his son is a reindeer herder. the reindeer are alike. everything we do is connected to them. it's great heritage from our ancestry adds his son. unlike most reindeer herding
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cultures, the dukha raise their deer primarily for milk production. reindeer milk and yogurt and cheese are centerpieces of the diet. very dry. kind of sour. only a small number of reindeer are slaughtered for meat. it's easy to get swept away from the dramatic beauty of the landscape and the velvety fur of the reindeer, but the dukha face real threats to their existence. increased mineral prospecting, gold mining and logging are destroying the reindeer habitat. >> we need the mongolian government to protect the traditional lands of the reindeer herders. >> go ahead -- >> and then there are the economic problems. when the soviet union collapsed, state-provided funding for the dukhas stopped, leaving them struggling to take care of themselves and their deer. >> we do want to know first of all if anyone has any deer that
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need immediate assistance. >> and then there are the veterinarian supplies and tools for the carving. the dukha are upbeat and love to laugh. can you ask them what this is for. a whip? [ laughter ] oh, my god, that really hurt. >> they are starting to incorpora incorporate part of the modern world into their lives. some use satellite lives. dukha children go to school far from home and are educated in mongolia, not their modern language. more and more young people opt to move to the city rather than face the economic hardships of their traditional way of live.
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the young generation must decide ofor themselves, he said. i would miss my mother land and the deer too much. here i feel freedom every day. watching the dukha with their children and animals, it is hard not to be moved by their fate. >> when we spend time, we get back to the basics and we get back to what it really means to be human. you can't spend time with a reindeer herder without being touched, without being shaken. >> most people will never visit this remote corner of the world. will never meet the dukha or play with their reindeer. but they have populated these mountains for thousands of years, and advocates hope that with a little help they will continue to do so for generations to come. for "nightline," i' clarissa ward in mongolia. >> what a ride. thanks to the intrepid clarissa
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start here. go further. we turn from reindeer to pets and the story about how crazy animal ownes can be when it comes to their furry friends. consider that people spend $45 bin that's billion on n their pets every year. and so far that's recession proof. perhaps it was only a matterof me before the pupperware party was born.
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eric horng recent fileled thisi "sign of the times". >> raise your hand if you remember tupperware parties. e shop from home try it before you buy it way to peddle plastic. now the concept has gone to the dogs. welcome to a pupperware party where pet owners can shop for fido. >> have any of you ever called your spouse by your pet's names? oops. >> marie is this evening's top dog. part saleswoman, part therapist. >> why don't we pamper one of the pooches really quick? >> a sort of mary kay lady for merry canines. why come to a pupperware party when you can go down to store down the street? >> it's not as fun. >> when her husband's auto industry job became a question mark, marie began to sell pet
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supplies to supplement the income. business has been brisk. we noticed some dogs couldn't wait to get to the party. >> to be honest, that extra cash could mean the difference between paying an electric bill or a gas bill or something like that. >> in this economy, why can't your dog tighten his leash like we're tightening our belts? >> why should he? he makes us happy and gives us so much joy during the day. it's worth it. >> the products are made by sure pets and go from chew toys to health and beauty items. >> this oil has been used for 45 years. >> there's canine sunscreen, doggie doughnuts. >> just spritz the pet down. >> even aromatherapy. >> rub it in good. he smells and looks good too. let's pass the pooch. >> a fine smelling pooch. >> the party lasted about an
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hour and few left empty handed. >> we brought some shampoo so we can get him whiter. >> laurie bought breath mints for her pet dog. i think you need two. in all, marie wrapped up $400 in sales and her commission is 20%. >> that's potentially a car payment, that's huge. >> a way to make extra cash in this dog of an economy. >> yeah, i thod imt e. odhi time. >> this is eric horng for "nightline" in geneva, illinois. >> doggie breath mints? our thanks to eric horng.
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